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Alfred von Tirpitz

Portrait postcard of Admiral of the Fleet Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz.
Text:
Reverse:
Großadmiral von Tirpitz
Grand Admiral / Admiral of the Fleet von Tirpitz
Logo:
Fried.O.Walter
FOW
Berlin W35
Originalaufnahme [Original image] Hofphot. Perscheid.

Portrait postcard of Admiral of the Fleet Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz.

Image text

Reverse:

Großadmiral von Tirpitz

Grand Admiral / Admiral of the Fleet von Tirpitz



Logo:

Fried.O.Walter

FOW

Berlin W35



Originalaufnahme [Original image] Hofphot. Perscheid.

Other views: Larger

Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commanded the German Imperial Navy.

Kaiser Wilhelm appointed von Tirpitz head of the Imperial Naval Office in 1897 to spearhead the expansion of the German Navy. von Tirpitz also oversaw widening of the Wilhelm Canal (named for Wilhelm I) which allowed Dreadnought-size ships to pass readily between the North and Baltic Seas. The widening was completed in June 1914.

In July 1914, the British Royal Navy was on maneuvers in the North Sea, and remained there, helping assure Britain controlled the North Sea. The sinking of three British armored cruisers by the German submarine U-9 on September 22, 1914 left control of the North Sea hanging.

Tirpitz advocated for unrestricted submarine warfare which Germany instituted on February 18, 1915 and suspended after the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7.

Germany's surface fleet, which von Tirpitz had done so much to build, did little during the war. Its high seas fleet including the South Seas Squadron was destroyed by the end of 1914. The fleet in the North Sea did not engage the British fleet.

Tirpitz continued to advocate for unrestricted submarine warfare, particularly during the Battle of Verdun, but was opposed by Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg who feared it would bring the United States into the war. In protest, von Tirpitz offered his resignation. Kaiser Wilhelm accepted in on March 15, 1916. Two months later, under a new commander, the German Fleet came out and met the British in the Battle of Jutland.

Germany

Roles held by Alfred von Tirpitz

Role Start Date End Date
Combatant - Naval